Clam’s Casino

What a wonderful Christmas we had…so great to have family all together.  We have always had a Christmas Eve tradition of doing “appetizers” to snack on all night long…Bob and I started this years ago when we first got married.  Below is a photo from our “1st Christmas Eve” together as husband & wife entertaining our very good friend.

Christmas Eve 1977

Christmas Eve 1977

This year was not any different, everyone chooses an appetizer, or two, of their choice.  Rob’s choice is always Clam’s Casino.  Pretty funny that these little guys are such a big hit since I do not eat clams.  When I was a little girl, my dad made me eat (yes, they did things like that back in the day) a raw clam…haven’t been able to put one in my mouth ever since; however I do make the best Clams Casino, Chowder, Baked Stuffed, etc….or at least that’s what I am told.  🙂

I think one reason Rob loves they so much is his remembrance of our clamming days in Port Jefferson, New York, when he, Jen and Bob would sit on the back of our boat eating clams and pitching the shells back into the ocean.  This particular day, they watched as Bob was shucking…

Port Jeff, NY

Port Jeff, NY

Open clams and place on a large sheet pan.
Shucked ClamsIn a large skillet, melt butter, add vegetables and cook until soft.

Saute VegetablesPlace sauteed vegetables over clams, add parmesan cheese, top with bacon and bake..ClamsTop with freshly squeezed lemon juice and or lemon wedges.

Baked Clams Casino

Baked Clams Casino

Clams Casino

3 dozen “littleneck” clams, shucked
(see video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGRAcit6FOA)
1/2 stick butter
1 onion, finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 cup white wine (drinking quality)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt & black pepper, to taste
grated parmesan cheese
1/2 pound bacon, uncooked

Preheat oven to 425°.  Place shucked clams in a large baking sheet sprayed with pan spray.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter.  Add onions, red pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes.  Cook until vegetables are soft (about 10 minutes).  Add white wine (or stock seafood stock if you prefer), and lemon juice, simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated.

Remove vegetables from heat.  Place 1 teaspoon of vegetables on top of clam, add grated parmesan cheese and 1 piece of bacon shaped to fit clam.

Bake 10-15 minutes, or until bacon is crispy.  Top with freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon wedges, if desired.


Pretzels are Easy Made at Home | WREG.com

Chef Gail Churinetz – Make Pretzels at Home WREG.com

Click on the above link to view the video

What better time of the year to make pretzels….Octoberfest!!!  

Pretzels for Breakfast

Pretzels for Breakfast

Oktoberfest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Oktoberfest is the world’s largest fair held annually in MunichBavariaGermany. It is a 16-day festival running from late September to the first weekend in October with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year. To the locals, it is not called Oktoberfest, but “die Wies’n”, after the colloquial name of the fairgrounds (Theresienwiese) themselves. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the original Munich event.

The Munich Oktoberfest originally took place during the sixteen days up to, and including, the first Sunday in October. In 1994, the schedule was modified in response to German reunification so that if the first Sunday in October falls on the 1st or 2nd, then the festival would go on until October 3 (German Unity Day). Thus, the festival is now 17 days when the first Sunday is October 2 and 18 days when it is October 1. In 2010, the festival lasted until the first Monday in October, to mark the anniversary of the event. The festival is held in an area named the Theresienwiese(field, or meadow, of Therese), often called Wiesn for short, located near Munich’s center. Large quantities of Oktoberfest Beer are consumed, with almost 7 million litres served during the 16 day festival in 2007. Visitors may also enjoy a wide variety of traditional food such as Hendl (roastchicken), Schweinebraten (roast pork), Schweinshaxe (grilled ham hock), Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Würstl (sausages) along with Brezen (pretzel), Knödel (potato or bread dumplings), Käsespätzle (cheese noodles), Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), Sauerkraut or Rotkohl/Blaukraut (red cabbage) along with such Bavarian delicacies as Obatzda (a spiced cheese-butter spread) and Weisswurst (a white sausage).

Pretzel Wrapped Breakfast SausageBreakfast Sausage Wrapped in Pretzel Dough

Yield:  4-6 Servings

Prep Time:  20 Minutes

Bake Time:  15 Minutes

1 Box Simply Homemade® Pretzel Creations Baking Mix

1 tablespoon oil (vegetable, canola or corn)
¾ cup very warm tap water
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 packages (6.4 ounce size) Brown n’ Serve Fully Cooked Sausage Links, thawed
1 egg

In a medium size mixing bowl add combine yeast and sugar.  Stir in very warm water (105-115°F).  Let sit 3 to five minutes.  Add pretzel mix, oil and cheddar cheese, stir until thoroughly combined (dough may be stiff; use hands if desired).

Cover dough and let rise 25 minutes in a warm, draft-free place.

Remove sausage from box.  Place on paper towel and microwave one minutes.  Pat sausage dry.

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Divide dough into 20 equal sized balls.  On a clean, dry surface roll each piece into an 9-inch rope.  Wrap rope around sausage and place on prepared baking sheet.  Continue with remaining pieces.

Brush each pretzel sausage with an egg wash (one egg slightly beaten with one tablespoon water).

Bake 12-15 minutes, or until slightly golden.  Serve with warm maple syrup.

Maple Syrup

½ cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon maple flavoring

In a saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in maple flavor.